Hataman rehires five more former ARMM secretaries PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 16 July 2016 11:30

Five more erstwhile regional secretaries in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao are back to help Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman govern ARMM’s five provinces.

Hataman also named this week a scion of the Maguindanaon nobility, lawyer Kirby Abdullah, as secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government-ARMM.

Copies of the appointments of ophthalmologist Kadil Sinolinding, Jr., Myra Borja Mangkabung, psychologist John Magno and engineer Don Loong as health, science and technology, education and public works secretaries, respectively, were obtained by the Zamboanga Times on Thursday from the Office of the Regional Governor, touted as the “Little Malacañang” of ARMM, located in Cotabato City.

They were all asked by Hataman to file their courtesy resignations last month for him to have a free hand in organizing a regional cabinet needed to help him manage the ARMM government, operating under a constitutionally-mandated charter, the Republic Act 9054.

Hataman had also designated this week his deputy, Regional Vice Governor Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman, as regional social welfare secretary.

Lucman will manage the Deparment of Social Welfare and Development-ARMM on concurrent capacity.

Hataman and Lucman, as the region’s highest and second highest officials, respectively, can both act as regional secretaries of chosen departments while performing their duties as elected executives.

The multi-awarded Sinolinding, an Indian-trained eye surgeon, started his medical career as a government “doctor to the barrio” in the municipality of Pagalungan in the second district of Maguindanao.

Sinolinding, Magno, Mangkabung and Loong had all served as members of the ARMM regional cabinet during the first term of Hataman, which lasted from June 30, 2013 to June 30, 2016.

Abdullah, a great grandson of the late Datu Udtog Matalam, post World War II governor of what was then geographically large Empire Province of Cotabato, helped Hataman oversee the operations of the Humanitarian Emergency Assistance and Response Team during the period.

He passed the Philippine Bar Examination in 2008 and became a full-fledged practicing lawyer on April 29, 2009.

Lucman was ARMM’s social welfare secretary during his first term as regional vice governor. He and Hataman were both elected to a second term during the May 9, 2016 regional polls.

Magno, an industrial psychologist by profession, is popular for having helped Hataman improve the Department of Education-ARMM, touted as the most corrupt agency in the region during the time of past regional governors.

DepEd-ARMM was then plagued with ghost teachers and non-existent schools anomalously used as conduits for releases of operating funds from the department’s coffer.

The agency now boasts of having about 3,000 duly-licensed teachers in its ranks, assigned in far-flung areas in the region’s five provinces,

Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, both in mainland Mindanao, and the islands of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

DepEd-ARMM also has jurisdiction over schools in the cities of Marawi and Lamitan, the provincial capitals of Lanao del Sur and Basilan, respectively.

Loong, a civil engineer, is credited for his hands-on involvement in Hataman’s infrastructure projects in the autonomous region during the first term of the governor.

Records from state auditors and cooperating non-government civil society blocs indicate that Loong and Hataman have had infrastructure feats never accomplished by past administrations.

The Department of Public Works and Highways-ARMM had constructed new and repaired a total of 1,509 kilometers of roads crisscrossing the towns in the ARMM provinces from 2013 to 2015.

Besides having built 46 water supply facilities in different towns in the past three years, the DPWH-ARMM had also constructed more than a dozen seaports in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi during the period.